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Steve Matthews’ Belmont selections for Thursday, May 24

Best bet: PAS DE SOUCIS (4)

Best value: OUTBACK BOB (6)

FIRST: Tale of Mist owns sprinter’s speed and projects as the controlling front-runner with aggressive handling. Conquest Prankster also is fleet-footed and would prove very tough on an unchallenged lead. Crea’s Bklyn Law logged five tight works since last start; must consider.

SECOND: Moonlight Romance was a clear-cut second in debut; short price in unplayable juvenile dash. Toonie Loonie also was second in first start; big-time player. Atchata is from a dam that has thrown a turf winner; follow the money.

THIRD: War Eagle’s Return has trained sharply since facing pricier field last time; improvement predicted. Major League wheels back in a hurry after finishing second in Saturday’s fourth race; very interesting. Chilly Bon Bon was pace- and position-compromised last out; odds will be tempting.

FOURTH: Pas de Soucis tallied swift final fraction when winning U.S. debut at Spa last summer and has trained sharply for comeback. In the Lee is speedy and can easily go wire to wire; short price is the problem. Anita Partner is firing bullets for first start on NYRA circuit; worth long look.

FIFTH: Quaff has trained with a purpose and gets first-time Lasix for first start since September; big effort predicted. Sansibar Jewel is quick from the gate and should be aided by cutback to sprint. Pocket Book also is fleet-footed and logged crisp 5-furlong drill May 11; dangerous.

SIXTH: Outback Bob has trained swiftly since making bold run to break maiden in March at Gulfstream; more to come. Follow the Signs owns fast figures and is working sharply; very dangerous. Brianbakescookies returns to turf after front-end score on dirt last week; right in the thick of this.

SEVENTH: Can’tweallgetalong gets confident price boost after tough-trip third in last; call based on price potential. Dry Martini fired swift half-mile work since even fifth in last; improvement expected. O Shea Can U See owns fast numbers and hails from Jason Servis stable; must consider.

EIGHTH: Lady Joan was speed sharpened in first start since five-month layoff last time; moves forward today. Initiate is speedy, rested and adds blinkers; big-time, front-end threat. Double Cast logged only career win on Belmont turf; very interesting. Reversethedecision broke maiden last time and hails from Chad Brown barn; underlay material.

NINTH: Rucksack, from a dam that has produced two turf winners, moves to grass after much-improved placing in last; more to give. High Promise owns fast grass numbers and makes first start with maiden-claiming tag; logical, short-priced player. Heza Kitten (5-furlong bullet since last start) and Stock Trade (improved figure in last) are two more that make first outing versus maiden claimers; both must be considered.

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